LFC Dog Guides hopes to fund two dogs this year with Giving Tuesday campaign
TORONTO -- Getting around on a snowy December day is now easier for 15 year-old Maggie Ingleson, thanks to ‘Hopper.’
“He is amazing,” said Ingleson of her Canine Vision Dog Guide. “He’s so sweet, and whenever I’m having not such a good day, he’s always just there.”
‘Hopper’ teamed up with Ingleson in 2019. The Caledon East teen has an optic tumor and has been blind since the age of four. Before receiving Hopper as a guide, she used a cane to get around.
“It was a change, but I really do like it,” she tells CTV News Toronto. “It gave me that extra independence that I was looking for.”
It’s one of many success stories for the Lions Foundation of Canada (LFC) Dog Guides.
“Maggie and Hopper are just so unique,” said Maria Galindo, communications manager at the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. “She’s been through so much at such a young age, but in spite of that she keeps leading the way and has bonded with Hopper so well.”
The foundation continues to provide dog guides to Canadians, even during the pandemic.
“At a slower capacity, because of the restrictions due to COVID, but matches are still taking place,” Galindo said. “No matter the situation going on in the world, people need their dog guides, people need that safety and independence that these dog guides bring. So we will never stop.”
It’s been a challenging year for many charities, but LFC Dog Guides are hoping to benefit from the generosity around Giving Tuesday.
“They want to raise $50,000 and that will go toward two Canadians with a disability,” said Ingleson.
“Each dog guide costs $25,000 to train and place,” added Galindo. “The great thing about today is that donors actually get to name these two wonderful dogs. When you donate today, you get to enter a name into the dog guide contest that we have going on right now.”
Ingleson hopes Canadians will consider donating to the organization that connected her with her trusted companion and guide.
“They changed my life!” she tells CTV News Toronto. “It’s not always easy to navigate such a sighted world when you can’t see, so that change is everything to me.”